FOUR EDITORS TRY

Can an Eye Mask Really Combat Blue Light Strain?

Photo by Maridelis Morales Rosado for W Magazine. Image on screen courtesy of Getty Images.

We’ve all been spending a lot of time in front of our computers—especially when working from home during a pandemic, there’s nothing else to do but stare at either your computer screen, your phone, or your television. But how do you find relief for the strain your eyes may feel from the blue light emanating from your devices?

The Emily Ratajkowski-endorsed LOOPS Beauty promises to do the trick. Every mask comes in a five-pack, so that you can use them on a weekly basis for about a month. And because they are designed for sensitive skin, you can either give yourself a Sunday spa treatment—with a collection that includes their lip masks and full face sheet masks in addition to these under-eye patches—or use them every day.

The LOOPS Hydrogel Eye Masks aim to hydrate the under-eye area and brighten up the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. There’s some niacinimide, some pearl extract, and a little bit of retinol to do the trick. But do the LOOPS Eye Masks do more than just hydrate? The brand insists that niacinamide, one of the key ingredients formulated in the mask, will protect the skin from blue light because it restores skin surface cells after they’ve been stressed out and damaged by oxidative stress induced by staring at screens for too long. Four W editors who’ve been getting a lot of screen time tried the LOOPS Beauty Hydrogel Eye Masks and gave their honest opinions.

Tilden Bissell, Digital Designer

What’s your experience been like with blue light strain? Have your eyes been hurting after using screens more often for work lately?

My mom loves to remind me that I should have 20/20 vision, but I’ve noticed a decline, probably just because I stare at my screen for hours on end. Between work, FaceTiming friends and my rampant TikTok addiction, I definitely have been hitting the screens harder than I have pre-Covid.

Do you use anything else to combat blue light strain, like wearing blue light blocking glasses or using screen covers on your computer?

I’ve been wearing blue light blocking glasses for a few years and I also use the flux or night shift feature religiously when I’m not working on designing stuff for W. I also do the 20-20-20 Rule, where you’re supposed to look up from your computer screen every 20 minutes and stare at something 20 feet away from 20 seconds, plus take walks and get outside to look at things that aren’t digital.

Describe the texture of the eye masks. How did it feel when you put them on under your eyes?

The masks felt like jelly, and were very cooling once I put them on. They were extremely moisturizing, and had a nice thickness to them that made me feel confident enough that they would stay put. Aesthetically, they were a cute shade of coral, and looked fairly chic while I walked around my apartment and FaceTimed a friend. I didn’t notice any stinging and I have fairly sensitive skin, but I did put them a little distance from my eyes just to be safe.

How often did you wear the LOOPS Eye Masks?

I did them about 1-2 times a week, usually in the morning when I was feeling a little tired and needed to de-puff for a meeting or right before bed as a relaxing way to wind down.

After using LOOPS Eye Masks, did your eyes feel any different when looking at screens? How effective was the product?

My under eyes felt dewy and hydrated, but I’m not sure they actually did a whole lot to relieve my fatigue. I was in a busy time at work so I actually stuck reusable eye masks over the Loops and then slipped my glasses on—a goofy-looking but effective way to maximize benefits in my mind. Hunched like a little gremlin over my laptop, it felt like a fitting Covid beauty ritual, and even if it didn’t actually work, it did feel refreshing.

Would you use these eye masks again?

I think the eye masks were overall effective, and I am curious to try some of Loops other products. That being said, I try to limit single use masks to special occasions, since I’m trying to cut down on my beauty waste.

Brooke Marine, Culture Editor

What’s your experience been like with blue light strain? Have your eyes been hurting after using screens more often for work lately?

I’ve worn glasses since I was 10 years old, and for some reason these past six months have been so tough on my eyes. I guess it’s because, though I always interact with a lot of screens for work, there’s really nothing else to do in the pandemic even when I’m not working.

Do you use anything else to combat blue light strain, like wearing blue light blocking glasses or using screen covers on your computer?

My eyes have really been straining lately—and I think my glasses are calibrated to block blue light—but it’s time for me to get a new pair anyway. So I'm probably not doing enough!

Describe the texture of the eye masks. How did it feel when you put them on under your eyes?

I didn’t notice any particular fragrance with these, and the texture felt thick enough to slap onto my under-eye area and not so thin that they might slide off. They stuck on pretty nicely, and I felt like after 10 or 15 minutes they were moisturizing my skin. No stinging, but I wouldn’t put these too close to my eyeballs.

How often did you wear the LOOPS Eye Masks?

The package says “weekly reset” so at first I thought I’d just do once a week per instructions, but honestly it was such a soothing experience to put the mask on after a shower that I decided to use it twice a week—once on Sunday during my usual weekend self-care routine, and once in the middle of the week when I felt like I needed a nice moisturizing self-care moment.

After using LOOPS Eye Masks, did your eyes feel any different when looking at screens? How effective was the product?

My skin definitely felt more moisturized, but I’m not so sure if it did much to combat blue light strain. It rejuvenated my under-eye area, and I noticed things looked a little healthier there, but I don’t think it made my eyes feel less strained when looking at a computer or phone screen.

Would you use these eye masks again?

I would use them again, and I believe the masks are compostable, but there is still some plastic in the packaging. Thinking about how wasteful that could end up being if I used one of these once a week (or twice a week) is a little concerning.

Maxine Wally, Senior Digital Editor

What’s your experience been like with blue light strain? Have your eyes been hurting after using screens more often for work lately? Do you use anything else to combat blue light strain, like wearing blue light blocking glasses or using screen covers on your computer?

Let me begin this by stating that I have sensitive, achy, baby eyes. They're liable to get tired easily—so I keep both my phone and computer screens on a super low brightness level and use blue light-blocking glasses. During the pandemic, like most, I've spent much more time in front of screens, with fewer breaks: on the computer all day for work, scrolling through my phone in search of human connection, and finally, in the evenings, sinking into the couch for some respite...in front of the television.

Describe the texture of the eye masks. How did it feel when you put them on under your eyes?

My first thought: too much packaging! The eye masks come in a pouch that you rip open to reveal a plastic case—inside, each patch is separated by a piece of plastic film. Once I had waded through the parcel and reached the product, I immediately noted how much I liked the soft gel texture. The scent, clean and light, wasn't overpowering—an issue I've encountered with other masks that infuse their sheets with cloying perfumes. The patches were incredibly soothing, removing puffiness from my under-eye area while moisturizing. Like my aforementioned baby eyes, the skin beneath my eyes are also sensitive—and the Loops eye mask didn't irritate at all. I kept them in the fridge before using, and highly recommend this approach. It adds to the refreshing, calming, and de-puffing effects.

How often did you wear the LOOPS Eye Masks?

I wore them twice a week for two weeks.

After using LOOPS Eye Masks, did your eyes feel any different when looking at screens? How effective was the product?

I didn't experience a noticeable difference in regards to screens specifically. But generally speaking, this product feels like a mini spa treatment for your eyes—so it's nice to take a break from the screens and chill my peepers out. I don't think this is something that I'll need to use specifically when my blue light consumption is high, but they're just nice to grab when my eyes are stressed and tired.

Would you use these eye masks again?

Yes, definitely—but simply as a regular eye mask, not for any blue light-combatting effects.

Stephanie Eckardt, Staff Writer

What’s your experience been like with blue light strain? Have your eyes been hurting after using screens more often for work lately?

I’m super sensitive to brightness in general (and am unable to sleep without an eye mask or complete darkness), so I have definitely been feeling the strain. I’m pretty much on the computer and/or phone for the entirety of my day.

Do you use anything else to combat blue light strain, like wearing blue light blocking glasses or using screen covers on your computer?

I keep the brightness on my laptop down low, unless I’m looking at a photo for work, and have Slack set to a dark color scheme just like my phone. I’ve been meaning to get blue light glasses for ages now, both to help avoid migraines and to try out wearing glasses in general.

Describe the texture of the eye masks. How did it feel when you put them on under your eyes?

There’s way too much plastic packaging, but I really enjoy the gel material the masks are made of. They stuck on well, and only had a slight scent I didn’t mind at all. They only stung on one occasion, when I noticed my skin was super dry, but otherwise my only complaint is that I wish I could put them closer to under my eyes without them stinging. I’d love to do a full mask of these, as they have such a soothing and cooling effect.

How often did you wear the LOOPS Eye Masks?

Three times at night, and one time in the morning. I found that at night, they’re calming, and in the morning, they help a bit with feeling more awake. This is literally the first mask I’ve ever tried that didn’t feel like an "event" because I knew it wouldn’t slip off and I didn’t have to be totally still. I actually forgot that I had it on at times.

After using them, did your eyes feel any different when looking at screens? How effective was the product?

I honestly forgot that they were meant to help with blue light, and thought they were supposed to help reduce puffiness and dark circles. In any case, the masks didn’t help with either. The only effect I noticed was just enjoying the experience and appreciating an easy lil’ form of self care.

Would you use these eye masks again?

Yes! I’m sad to have run out.